This post is sponsored by The Journal of Medical Practice Management ®
Everyone has a bad day - even a bad week - now and then. How can you tell when you have a real problem on your hands? Seasoned consultant Randy Bauman, from Delta Healthcare Consulting, brings his years of experience to the thorny issue of physicians who simply “don’t play well with others.”
He suggests asking these five questions:
- Would I tolerate this behavior in any other staff member?
- If I acted this way, how would I expect my colleagues to react?
- Would I want to try and explain this physician’s behavior during a deposition?
- Is this physician’s behavior damaging either my personal or my practice’s reputation?
- If this physician left the practice, how would it affect our group dynamics?
- Hobbled self-awareness, social skills, or emotional intelligence;
- Arrogance, egotism, and narcissism;
- Perfectionism and obsessive tendencies;
- Loss of prestige or respect among fellow professionals;
- Disappointment in time commitment, finances, and professional satisfaction;
- Burnout and disenchantment;
- Personal problems—for example, at home;
- False bravado masking insecurity; or
- True pathology—that is emotional, psychiatric, or addiction issues.
- Refusing to adhere to accepted standards and policies;
- Being chronically late and disorganized;
- Having an unprofessional appearance and demeanor that puts off patients and support staff;
- Ducking fair share of work and responsibility;
- Refusing to keep up to date or to learn and grow in professional knowledge and continuing education;
- Being argumentative—the “never wrong” syndrome;
- Airing complaints and “internal” issues to patients and outside parties;
- Using derogatory, foul, and crude language;
- Exhibiting explosive temper tantrums or wide mood swings;
- Threatening violence or legal action against colleagues, staff, business associates, or patients;
- Sexually harassing or using crude/offensive humor; and
- Demonstrating unethical, illegal, unscrupulous, or otherwise immoral behavior.
and payors - determine when and how to intervene. Bauman offers six do’s and six don’ts that your group should incorporate into your policy immediately:
- DO act promptly.
- DO tell it like it is.
- DO lay out clear expectations for improvement.
- DO document your discussions and actions.
- DO specify consequences for noncompliance.
- DO schedule follow-up meetings and monitor progress.
- DON’T ignore the issue.
- DON’T beat around the bush.
- DON’T be intimidated or charmed.
- DON’T make empty threats.
- DON’T get in over your head without professional help (especially with physician impairment or legal issues such as sexual harassment).
- DON’T take a passive-aggressive approach by trying to implement new rules that address the problem behavior indirectly.
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